Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:55 am

What I would like to see is some accountability for the misrepresentation that the Charlie Card would work for commuter rail tickets. This would include vendors as well, as it seems without the promise of commuter rail inclusion, maybe there would have been no Charlie Card fiasco. There was a lot of money and hype involved, and people should be made to answer for this.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Red Wing » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:49 am

This will make the ticket collecting easier from Lowell and North Billerica.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:02 pm

Commuting Boston Student wrote:
Diverging Route wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Its like theyre trying to reinvent the wheel using only goats. This whole thing makes no sense to me.


The stated rationale is that project was done at no (or little) cost to the MBTA. The vendor gets a percentage of the fares sold on the mobile app to manage everything. The MBTA says that to implement Charlie on the CR would have cost millions of dollars, money now that will not need to be spent.


So when the MBTA says CharlieCard integration is coming for this app, are you telling me they are lying?

Or is the impetus now on the app designer to work that out whenever it suits them to do so?


The demo I saw in the focus group showed us how the Charlie Card will be linked to the APP. It appears they having an issue registering the Cards to the accounts. This is going to happen.


Commuting Boston Student wrote:
rethcir wrote: I want this app to succeed, but it can't succeed as it is now.


The APP is still being rolled out and should be considered still in testing. When the APP is fully implemented then you can judge if it will work or not.

ALSO this is not a discussion on the Charlie Card on the CR, we have a thread dealing with that already. But to clear up one thing. The T wanted to bring the Card system wide. In the end it was too expensive to bring it to the CR. It's not the vendors fault.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:02 pm

sery2831 wrote:But to clear up one thing. The T wanted to bring the Card system wide. In the end it was too expensive to bring it to the CR. It's not the vendors fault.


It most certainly is the vendors fault if during the RFP process they said "yes, it will be cheap and easy to implement our technology on your rail line". MBTA would have some blame for believing them, but if the contract says it could be done...
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:43 pm

First, the initial RFP did not include the CR, it was an add on. And second of all, there was no way to bring the Card to the CR without installing vending machines system wide. So the cost was not a secret. Moving on, the Charlie Card will NEVER be accepted on the CR and this not the thread to discuss it.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:51 pm

I just find it amazing, the Caltrain is able to accept the same type of card we use, and thats a card that shared on a whole bunch of agencies with a whole bunch of fare systems and rules and such. While its only one line, its much longer than the longest MBTA line.

"And second of all, there was no way to bring the Card to the CR without installing vending machines system wide"

False. You dont need a fare machine at every stop, because the card lets you go negative, meaning you can load cash in Boston (or one of many retail partners). The MBTA bus system is quite large, and there are no fare machines anywhere near the outer branches of it.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:57 pm

jamesinclair wrote:
False. You dont need a fare machine at every stop, because the card lets you go negative, meaning you can load cash in Boston (or one of many retail partners). The MBTA bus system is quite large, and there are no fare machines anywhere near the outer branches of it.


Not sure where you get it will allow you to go a negative balance, but that is not true.

And last I checked you can add value to the card on every bus and trolley.

If you want to continue this discussion, reply here: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=108243
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:15 am

What is the backup plan for this mode of ticketing if there is a mass failure of the Smart Phone,which has happened before to the Blackberry? People today have no patience, do the Smartians get to ride free because it would be easier than listen /argue and thus impede the whole process, or do they owesy on along. How many of these people would be prepared ahead to pay the freight cash, including the onboard surcharge? There would be a whole bunch of indignation if the Smart Phone dummied up. Similarly wide spread power outages, no chargee phone, then what is the back up?
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby danib62 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:10 am

As has been stated numerous times before, if for some reason the system isn't working or your phone isn't charged you should be prepared to pay cash. I use my iPhone to pay at starbucks. If for some reason my phone isn't working right I don't expect to walk in and get a free latte.

As an aside I'm taking amtrak to NYP today and my ticket is on my phone.
"We are running with normal train service on the Red Line. We apologize for the inconvenience."
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:06 pm

Teamdriver wrote:What is the backup plan for this mode of ticketing if there is a mass failure of the Smart Phone,which has happened before to the Blackberry? People today have no patience, do the Smartians get to ride free because it would be easier than listen /argue and thus impede the whole process, or do they owesy on along. How many of these people would be prepared ahead to pay the freight cash, including the onboard surcharge? There would be a whole bunch of indignation if the Smart Phone dummied up. Similarly wide spread power outages, no chargee phone, then what is the back up?


You do not need the internet to use the ticket, only to purchase it. The APP is designed that you purchase the ticket ahead of time, NOT ON the train. So as long as the battery is working, you can use the purchased ticket. Having a dead battery will require you to pay a cash fare.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby rethcir » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:28 am

http://www.metro.us/boston/boston/artic ... keting-app

Looks like the T is pretty happy with the uptake.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby saulblum » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:21 pm

Now available for all commuter trains and ferries.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby marlowe » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:45 pm

I tried the app it wouldn't let me buy a ticket to the new Talbot Ave (error "Missing criteria parameter...). Other 1A zones work fine i.e. Morton St.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jbvb » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:59 am

A passenger was discussing the smart phone app with an employee this morning - there are apparently significant problems with being unable to display your ticket due to gaps in cell phone coverage. I knew of the gaps, on both the Eastern and Haverhill lines, as they a) predictably interrupt the on-train WiFi, and b) drop passengers' calls. MBTA policy is to make customers pay cash rather than make the employee remember who they need to come back to.

I suspect the Salem tunnel is a major culprit on inbound trains, given the large number of boarding passengers and the relatively short time before arrival in Swampscott. The on-train WiFi sometimes doesn't re-synchronize until Lynn. The dead spots between Andover and Lowell Jct. probably work the same way.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby danib62 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:22 am

That sounds totally false. You don't need cell phone reception in order to display a ticket, only to purchase one.
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